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Ex-Malaysia PM Najib pleads not guilty to charges of money laundering involving RM42m

Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak arrived in court on Wednesday (Aug 8) to face additional charges over money laundering.

[KUALA LUMPUR] Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has pleaded not guilty to three charges of money laundering in court on Wednesday (Aug 8).

He was charged with receiving RM42 million (S$14.1 million) as proceeds of illegal activities between December 2014 and February 2015.

Each charge is punishable by up to 15 years' jail and a fine of not less than five times the proceeds of the illegal activity.

The charges were read out in a Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur and the case is now being transferred to the High Court, where Najib is expect to enter a plea for each of the charges later on Wednesday.

It is his second appearance in a Malaysian court since he was defeated in national elections in May.

On July 4, Najib was charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of abuse of power over funds totalling RM42 million  belonging to SRC International, a former subsidiary of state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

He pleaded not guilty to those charges.

The July case has been fixed for case management on Wednesday as well. Najib’s lawyers are expected to request for a permanent gag order to prevent public discussion on the merits of the case during case management. 

Najib is the first Malaysian prime minister to have been charged in court.

He appeared at the MACC office in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday after he was summoned by the anti-graft agency. The media had speculated that he would be arrested, but the former leader spent just 45 minutes there.

On Wednesday, Najib was accused of receiving RM27 million, RM5 million and RM10 million into his bank accounts in three separate transactions. All three amounts were the proceeds of illegal activities, according to the charges.

The first and second offences were allegedly committed at Am Islamic Bank at Jalan Raja Chulan on Dec 26, 2014 while the third offence was allegedly committed at the same place on Feb 10, 2015.